Mears Ashby shown within Northamptonshire
|Population||442 (2001 Census)|
|OS grid reference|
|Sovereign state||United Kingdom|
|EU Parliament||East Midlands|
Mears Ashby is a village in the English county of Northamptonshire between the county town of Northampton and Wellingborough and is in the West ward of borough council of Wellingborough area which also includes Sywell.
All Saints Church
The church of ALL SAINTS, MEARS ASHBY is situated in the centre of the village just off the A4500 Northampton to Wellingborough road and has many interesting features for the visitor to look for. The church was probably here around 1100 or even earlier (a wooden building) and the magnificent Norman font greets you as you enter through the Norman south doorway. Whilst the church has been restored over the years, two other features must be seen. In the south aisle is an old Saxon 'Wheel Cross', according to historians, possibly of Viking origin, dated around AD 1000 and may have been the mark of a pre-conquest burial place. These crosses are normally found in the north of England and are a rarity so far south.
The other feature not to be missed is the 'Doom Painting’ above the chancel arch and restored in 1984. The Doom or Last Judgement as it is sometimes called was one of the most commonly painted scenes in the Medieval parish church, with it usually above the chancel arch, being the symbolic division between the nave and chancel. This division within the church separated the priest’s domain in the chancel from that of the people in the nave, but it also symbolically marked the greater divide between the church here on earth (the people) and from them church triumphant in Heaven (the priest). Normally central to the painting is the Risen Christ surrounded by the Virgin Mary (present at the Crucifixion), St John the Evangelist, the Apostles, angels and saints are often found. The aftermath of the Judgement is often shown with groups of souls departing for ever to Heaven. Conversely, the damned proceed to Hell assisted by devils and the painting often showing a Hell Mouth – a Leviathan-like creature with a gaping mouth. Sadly it was only possible to restore a small section of this ‘Doom Painting’.
There are also two windows on the south side of the church paid for by Sir Edmund Stockdale Lord Mayors of London and executed by the artist Lawrence Lee depicting the villages links with the Stockdale Family. Lawrence Lee was head of Stained Glass at the Royal College of Art
The Church runs a café church at 9am on the 3rd Sunday of every month in the village hall where you can get a free breakfast and chance in an informal eviroment to think about Christianity. The Priest in Charge is The Revd Duncan Beet
The 2001 census recorded its population as 442 of which 221 were male and 221 female.
According to Westwood and Simpson in their book, The Lore of the Land, the county in general and Mears Ashby in particular has a long tradition of witchcraft and accusations of witchcraft. In their book they recall that as late as 1785 a local inhabitant, Sarah Bradshaw, was so accused. We learn from the Northampton Mercury on 1 August 1785 that:
- "Thursday last, a poor woman, named Sarah Bradshaw of Mears Ashby...who was accused by some of her neighbours of being a witch, in order to prove her innocence, submitted to the ignominy of being dipped (on a ducking-stool); when she immediately sunk to the bottom of the pond; which was deemed an incontestable proof that she was no witch!"
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Mears Ashby.|
- Village website
- Mears Ashby Cricket Club
- Mears Ashby Jackdaws Football Club
- Brief description w/ map
- Northampton Mercury 1 August 1785
- The Lore of the Land - Westwood & Simpson - 2005 - ISBN 0-14-100711-7
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